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Multigenerational living: seeking wisdom *UPDATE - see Featured Answer

last month
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Because y’all are some of the most insightful people I know . . .

My boyfriend’s (BF) parents live with him. They’re youngish (mid 70s) and not really in need of assistance at this time. It’s an arrangement he had always wanted, and it worked out for them all about five years ago when the parents’ retirement coincided with BF’s divorce. His grandparents lived with them when BF was young and he’s just a fan in general of multigenerational living. They pay him a very small amount of rent. They have no ownership interest in his house.

Enter me. BF and I (early-mid 50s) are working out what our future may look like, and we’re realizing there are several options, all of which require some degree of compromise from somebody. One option (most upheaval for everyone) is for he and I to each sell our houses and combine forces to purchase one larger house that would be suitable for us and BF’s parents. Other options are fully acknowledged and on the table (I move in with them and rent out/sell my house; he moves in with me and his folks stay in his place or he sells his place and gets a smaller place for his folks; just keep things as they are because inertia is easy, etc.). Finances are such that neither one of us could purchase a Single Big House (SBH) on our own. It would have to be a joint effort. Properties with two separate dwellings are either unsuitable (casita far too small for his parents) or cost-prohibitive. We also know we’d have to have a joint property ownership agreement and contingency plans in place (i.e., if he’s hit by a bus and now I live alone with his parents). We’re both amenable to hammering out those details. Neither BF nor I have children, and won’t have any.

My only experience with multigenerational living is when my grandmother lived with us for a while when I was a teen, but she was the stereotypical little old lady who stayed in her bedroom 90% of the time watching The Price is Right. DBF’s parents are much more active, and for lack of a better description, simply much more present. They’re good, kind people and we all get along (though sharing a roof, kitchen and driveway hasn’t yet been tested). I’d love to hear about any experience you may have with such an arrangement, or any thoughts you may have even if you don’t have direct experience.

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